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8 replies
Albania?
monoclaw
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Sounds sketchy from what I’ve read, which admittedly isn’t much, but it is between Greece and Montenegro. Has anyone been to Albania or know the score there?

Joeri
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I’m curious aswell. There are only a few countries in eastern Europe which I haven’t visited, so Albania is high on my list for summer 2008. So is Belarus, but that’s another story.  

I am traveling for 4 days
rob_co2
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I heard mostly negative things about it from fellow travelers, beaches weren’t as nice or scenic, lots of litter, transport is bad, people weren’t so friendly (although I’m not sure my friends were accustomed to being in muslim countries) .  But everyone’s experiences are different, and you never know where you will find unexpected beauty.  I found Kosovo to be a pleasant suprise. 

delfrio
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there is a man of mystery who can handle these inquiries. i feel like dwop should have a call sign like batman.

auher
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While I’m not DWOP I did spend a couple days in Tirana recently and actually I really loved it. It’s not the most aesthetically beautiful city, but I can tell you that there is something fascinating about it, and it’s got a great “vibe.”

The route I took was coming into Albania from Lake Ohrid in Macedonia – taking a bus to the border, cab across into Podgarec and then furgon to Tirana. Amazing freakin’ scenery, you won’t believe it. From Tirana we took a bus to Shkoder and then paid a local cab driver to drive us all the way to Budva since there were 3 of us and it wasn’t a bad deal.

I will def. go back. I’d love to see some of the south of the country – I think it would be just amazing!

alptime
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Hey there. It’ll prob sound subjective, since am from Albania myself. Chances are, as u say not to have read much, but if u want to know more u have to visit www.albaniantourism…. as it is the official Albanian website for tourism, as well as visit the Eastern European section in Londely Planet. Well probably u already have. Apart from that it is good if u have a rented car either from Greece or in Albania itself, so don’t have to depend on public transport. If u are entering the country from its most southern tip then u of course will visit Saranda, which is a very pictoresque city but not the best, however the ancient cite of Butrint http://www.butrintfo… is a must see place. From Saranda you can either decide to drive through the Southern Riviera and reach Vlora, or go the other way to Gjirokastra, a city basically built in stone, and interesting to see. From there you should also visit Berat, a beautiful town with white roads and the windows of houses facing the same direction.
Tirana is an experience not to miss. From there take north, and reach Shkodra, the biggest city in the north, with a very beautiful castle and some chathedrals too even though the city itself is not that interesting, at least in my experience. From there the drive to Montenegro is very short, and there are as far as I know at least two routes to follow to reach the border, Ive traveled myself through that region and it is not bad at all.

If u decide to enter Albania from Greece, through Florina (north-west) then the route to follow is Korca (a medieval town with some very nice architecture), Pogradec across the Ohrid lake, and then drive to Tirana.

Apart from that I can’t really tell you much about “muslim countries”, which is appalling but hey that’s how things work. It’s a country which u have to see and experience yourself, and that depends entirely on you.

What I know for sure is that ppl are friendly, helpful and generous. English is not that much spoken but you will manage.
Ive written a very long response in the section about Albania, in the “why you no go Albania”, you have to read it all, to understand in what a funny way this country is treated, which is very unfair.

Anyways, if u happen to visit then have have fun.
cheerios

Don
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I no NOT no why my P-0-P have not answer your qeery. I used to have DOG name MONOCL-A-W like you name!! Ha ha I mAKE JOKE LIke we do in L-A-N-D OF BLACK E-A-G-L-E! She was good dog but her name made too much temptations for egyption sailors who made visit to CANVAS HOSTILE OF HIGHEST S-T-A-R RATINGS and interNATIONal sstandard.

pliss, you make visit and we show you good time, real LAND OF BLACK EAGLE who love the Booshies and make S-A-B-R-E OF HIGHEST quality for make superior outcome in SABRE DUEL. We no charge tax to you and offer cigarrats of highest qualities like MARLBURRO and LUCKY STRIPE as well as CAMELL. And no funny bisuness with girly lawmakers. In ERECT CANVASS HOSTILE you can smoke at any time andany place. We are land of true FREEDOMS and H-O-N-O-R. You visit us soon, no? We have a real good time, no?

luv_the_beach
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Quote:
ORIGINAL: alptime
Apart from that it is good if u have a rented car either from Greece or in Albania itself, so don’t have to depend on public transport.


If you decide to rent a car in Greece to take it to Albania, check with the car-rental agency if you can take the car out of the country, because some may not let you do that.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: monoclaw

Sounds sketchy from what I’ve read, which admittedly isn’t much, but it is between Greece and Montenegro. Has anyone been to Albania or know the score there?


Yeah, it is odd that “sketchy” Albania is completely surrounded by very touristy countries: Greece, Italy, Croatia, and up-and-coming Montenegro…yet know one knows anything about Albania.  Keep in mind that Italy and Greece, as well as Croatia and Montenegro (when they were part of Yugoslavia), were popular tourism destinations for quite some time, especially since the 1960s.  Meanwhile, Albania was under the oppressive regime of Enver Hoxha (until his death in 1985), and the country was closed to the outside world until 1990.  Albania was a very isolated country; ruled by an extremist communist regime that broke off relations even with the USSR and China after those countries established normal diplomatic relations with the United States.  So…no trade with the outside world, no tourists, no investment flowing in, none of that stuff, not even Soviet aid.  Thus, you can imagine the economic situation.  To the outside world, it was just a mysterious place (and that’s still the case to an extent).  Protests brought down the oppressive regime, but it’ll take them a long time to recover economically from that era.  Still today, there isn’t much of a tourism industry, and unlike neighboring Greece, Italy, and Croatia Albania won’t have a mature tourism/hospitality industry for a long time to come.

Pictures of Albania reveal an incredibly beautiful coastline.  The country isn’t known for many cultural/architectural attractions, but I have come across quite a few surprises from online research: some charming towns in, a couple Greco-Roman archaeological sites, and the like.  OTOH, the infrastructure (transport infrastructure, tourism infrastructure, etc) is lacking.  Of course, for the more “adventurous” travelers (like auher), this is exactly the&nbsplace they’re looking for.  Like one of the “last discovered places” for the hard-core backpackers…and a total antithesis from neighboring countries where the tourism industry reigns supreme.  Like night and day.  As far as demographics, it’s traditionaly the only majority-Muslim country in Europe (not counting Turkey, which is located mostly in Asia), but I get the impression from Albanians that they’re very secular, and possibly non-religious (I’m not sure to what extent Hoxha’s officially atheist regime was able to influence religion in the country).  Traditionally, the majority of Albanians were Muslim, but a third were Christians.  Mother Theresa was Albanian.

By all means, feel free to visit the country, and come back as one of our resident experts on Albania! [Smile]


beach-lunch-siesta-beach-shower-dinner-nightlife-repeat

dwop
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albania (BLACK EAGLE LAND) is LAND OF UNSPEAKABLE BEAUTY

DO NOT BE AGGRESSED that this country borders such danger lands like GREEK, CRNA GORA, etc. These people are within they country and will not bother you in ALBANIA.

I must warn you however of problem that may occur at border.

I tell you this in the because last week i have travellers coming to me from DEMOCRACY REPUBLIC OF KOREA. They make traditional crossing using busses, carts and mules from JEZERO OHRIDSKO ‘e’ MAKEDONIA but when walking across LAND OF NO MEN problems begin.

JOO SUN YOO MEH was attack by ALBANIAN PATRIACH wielding WOODEN SWORD. JOO wrestle man to ground but he was IMPALE

MISTER YOO MEH was nearly mortally wound but instead my FAITHFUL CHARGE ibrahim happened to be SELLING PARSNIP nearby and launch COUNTER ASSAULT against assailant. ASSAILANT SLAIN

MISTER JOO welcome to hostel as NATIONAL HERO. We make him tradional drink and give 5% off booking next time.

As long as you watch out for bear bablania safe for ALL toursistic jaunt.

BEWARE OF THE GREECE PEOPLE